Your eyes are an intricate part of your health. There are a lot of things you can do to make sure you’re seeing your best and to keep them healthy. Just follow these simple rules for keeping your eyes healthy as you age.
Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
You may think your eyes are healthy and that your vision is okay but seeing your eye doctor for a comprehensive dilated eye examination is really the only way you can be sure. Some people don’t realize that they could definitely see better with contact lenses or glasses when it comes to vision problems. Also many common eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, or diabetic eye disease many times have no warning signs. The best way and sometimes only way to detect these diseases in the early stages is with a dilated eye exam.
When you have a comprehensive dilated eye examination your eye doctor places drops into your eyes which dilates them to allow the most light possible into the eye so that way your eye care professional can get a good look at the back of your eye and examine them for any diseases or damage to it. Your eye doctor is the only way to ensure that you’re seeing your best and that your eyes are healthy.
Know your family’s eye health history. Strike up a conversation with the members in your family about their eye health history if anyone has been diagnosed with and I disease or a condition it’s important to know because some of these are hereditary. This will help you to see if you are at a higher risk for developing a condition or an eye disease.
Protect your sight by eating a healthy balanced diet. The time old saying that ‘Carrots make you see better in the dark’ is actually not far from the truth. Good eye health can easily be enhanced by a diet rich in dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale or collard greens.
It has also been proven by scientific research that eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna or halibut is highly beneficial to good eye health.
Maintain a healthy weight. Other health factors such as obesity can increase your chances of developing diseases such as diabetes which can result in vision loss and diabetic eye problems such as disease or glaucoma.
Protect your eyes. Protecting your eyes with the appropriate protective eyewear when doing potentially harmful activities may seem obvious but it is fundamental to avoiding injury. Anything from safety goggles, glasses, safety shields and eye guards can be used depending on the activity. Most protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics. Many eye care providers sell protective eyewear, as do some sporting goods stores.
Quit smoking or never start. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.ii,iii
Be cool and wear your shades. Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
Give your eyes a rest. If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain.
Clean your hands and your contact lenses properly. To avoid the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses. Make sure to disinfect contact lenses as instructed and replace them as appropriate.
Practice workplace eye safety. Employers are required to provide a safe work environment. When protective eyewear is required as a part of your job, make a habit of wearing the appropriate type at all times and encourage your coworkers to do the same.